New donors from #GivingTuesday and end-of-year fundraising campaign- check. A welcome series done via triggered emails- check. Would you think I was crazy if I said the next thing on your list should probably be another donation ask?
In 2009, Harvard researchers did a study on the connection between happiness and giving. One of the things they found was that making a financial contribution made people happy, and happy people were more motivated to give. The whole thing was cyclical, but what this means for you is that those who give to your organization are getting a “feel-good” benefit from giving, and if you act fast, are likely to give again.
This means that contrary to the widely held belief that donors should get a “rest period” between gifts, donors are actually ready and willing to give again to get the feel-good feeling, they are just waiting for you to ask.
The key to making a quick follow-up ask is to readily identify a need, ideally through a story. Give your supporters a concrete example of how your organization helps someone, like how $20 gave little Suzie a backpack of school supplies that helped raise her grades from C’s to A’s, or how a $500 gift was critical to getting Fido out of a shelter and finding him a home with a dog-friendly family. The stories are effective because they allow readers to connect to them emotionally, and the more you can paint the picture of the good your work is doing, the easier it is for would-be donors to see how their gifts could make a difference.
Don’t take my word for it. Here are a couple resources that just might change how you think about making an ask, and others about the power of storytelling:
- The Feel-Good Phenomenon of Giving white paper
- The Power of Storytelling for Spreading Your message keynote address
- Visual Storytelling Can Motivate Supporters to Action webinar recording
- The Essential Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising eBook
If you’re new to all of this and could use some guidance on the right tools for setting up fundraising campaigns and donations pages, let us know.